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Russians to enter Ukraine with foreign passports starting March 1

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Russian citizens will need foreign passports to enter Ukraine, stay in Ukraine and travel around the country starting from March 1, 2015, according to a resolution adopted by the Ukrainian cabinet.

The Ukrainian government ordered the termination of Points 1 and 5 of the list of documents permitting Russian citizens to enter and exit Ukraine, as well stay in Ukraine and travel around the country's territory. Starting from March 1, 2015 Russian citizens will not be able to use internal passports or birth certificates for Russian citizens under the age of 14 to enter Ukraine.

According to the resolution, adopted on January 30, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry will have to inform the Russian government of this decision.

Under an intergovernmental agreement signed in 2007, Russian citizens were able to enter Ukraine using Russian passports, foreign passports, diplomatic passports, service passports, birth certificates for children under the age of 14, maritime ID cards, and aircraft crewmember ID cards. The latest resolution removes the Russian internal passport and the Russian birth certificate from this list of documents.

At a meeting with ministers and other senior officials, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk, reiterated the need to step up control on the Ukrainian-Russian border and "adopt European rules for crossing the state border, including for citizens of the Russian Federation."

When commenting on the resolution, Yatseniuk said: "We are removing the internal passport [of Russian citizens] and the birth certificate from the list of documents for crossing the Ukrainian state border."

All other documents on this list can still be used to enter Ukraine, the prime minister said.

According to Yatseniuk, such a step will help significantly enhance control on the border and defend the national interests of Ukraine.

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